In Search of Jewelry Hallmarks
inOctober 22, 2012 - 6:20am
There are many reference sources for the identification of hallmarks on antique and vintage jewelry. These are only helpful if you know where to locate a hallmark in the first place. Some jewelry may appear to have no identifying marks. But on closer examination you may find a mark in an obscure place.
Some manufacturers have easy to find hallmarks. Others have added applied plaques with company logos in conspicuous areas. This obvious branding makes determining facts regarding jewelry more accessible.
A number of manufacturers, particularly European makers, use an extensive hallmarking system. Tiny stamped cartouches can indicate metal content, date, country and designer. These small impressions can be challenging to find as they resemble indentations or imperfections in metal castings. A 10x loupe is a crucial tool to utilize in inspection. These mini magnifiers assist immensely in locating important clues pertaining to the production and origin of jewelry
Uncommon places to examine include tongue clasps on bracelets, brooch closure fittings; both top and side of clasp and pin stem. Earrings are sometimes stamped on the closure back or hook. Pendants which lack a mark are frequently stamped on the connecting bale.
Once you've honed your skill in spotting the stamps, you can than ascertain what they indicate. It is an important aspect in jewelry collecting. You may uncover a rare and valuable trademark.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Proust
Written by K. Cassidy
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